Bookie Radley-Hiles: My Nightmare
Brendan Radley-Hiles here again with another RecruitDiary, and the major theme for this diary is the injury I suffered, which caused me to miss some time. The season started out great for the Bishop Gorman Gaels and myself. We reclaimed our number one ranking soon after the season started (deservedly so), we played some of the best teams in the nation including Chandler and Bingham, which I talked about in my last diary, and other out-of-state competitors including the national powerhouses Long Beach Poly, from California, and Don Bosco Prep, from New Jersey. We routed Long Beach Poly without much difficulty by a score of 52-13 and we defeated Don Bosco in a closer game 30-16. The Bosco game however didn’t come without drama as I hurt my shoulder during and was forced to miss the rest of the game, and I feared I would miss more.
The play was a bubble screen, I caught the ball and made two guys miss and picked up sixteen yards, but I ended up separating my shoulder as a result of the tackle. The defender, a lineman, jumped on my back, which caused me to fall forward landing both awkwardly and hard on my shoulder. I was having one of my better games of the season and set the tone for the game early on as I blew up a quick pass and laid a big hit on the receiver. Everything was clicking on both sides of the ball for me that game, but it ended abruptly as I was unable to return after the injury. I was worried that I would miss more than just one game but I would have to wait and see what the doctors had to say.
After we won the game, I learned that I was expected to miss five weeks of football. No practice. No games. Nothing. My worst fears had come true. I felt like my life was being taken away from me. I had worked so hard for everything up to this point and didn’t want to start over. Besides not being able to be out there with my brothers and playing for the G, the worst part was watching the games themselves. I would see plays happen and know that if I was out there, I could have made the tackle or made a play on the ball. All these “what ifs” kept coming up because I was hurt. I decided to attack my rehab and work my hardest to get back onto the field. I had earned a starting spot on the defense and I was going to make sure I did everything in my power to keep that spot when I got back. I ended up missing only three weeks of football and returned to the team. You never really understand how much you love something until it is taken away from you, and I was ecstatic to get back to practice and be with my brothers.
It’s still very early on in the recruiting process for me, but I am blessed to already be hearing from some of the top schools in the nation. I have heard from UCLA, Florida, Washington, Ohio State, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Utah, Arizona State, Cal, Clemson, San Diego State, Oregon, and Nebraska. To hear from any schools is amazing but the fact that a number of the top programs in the nation are interested in me validates my hard work and my effort, but I want to keep working hard until I am the best. I have gone on visits to USC, Arizona, Florida State, and Utah. All are amazing places to visit and I enjoyed each one. My favorite school is Florida, and I am hoping that I continue to hear from them and that it may result in a scholarship offer. I am also afforded the advantage to see the recruiting process unfold every day before me as most of my teammates are being recruited and are some of the nation’s best. By competing against the best every day in practice I become a better player.
Our season is coming down to a close and we are looking to win the seventh straight state title for Gorman. My favorite moment of the season is going one on one with Long Beach Poly five star Jackie Jones. He is an unbelievably gifted athlete and a great football player. He is also one of only two players to catch a pass on me all season (both were five stars by the way). I am looking forward to December 5th, because that is when the State Championship game is. The motivation to compete even after so much success in the past has been greater than previous Gorman teams. Two sayings always stick with me to keep going and getting better: “Control Your Own Destiny” and “Die Before You Quit”.
It has been a great year so far and our season is wrapping up. I can't wait to take the field again with my brothers and continue the road to a state championship. Make sure to follow me on twitter @Bookie_44 to keep up with my season and follow @RecruitDiaries to get updates about when all the diaries go live.